Blue Jays are so cheeky!
by Joanne Bilecki
(Red Deer, Alberta, Canada)
I love blue jays! Yup, they are noisy, raucous little bullies, but one of the most intelligent species of birds that I have encountered. My husband and I live on a small acreage just outside if Red Deer, Alberta Canada.
We go through several bags of feed and peanuts during the year, and have adopted our little backyard visitors as if they were our children. I think bluejays are one of our favorites, not only for their beautiful blue feathers, but for their diversified vocals and comical demeanor.
Our "children" have come to know us quite well. They know where the seed buckets are, and have no problem telling us when they want more. Last week, a bluejay came up on the back deck, jumped on top of the seed bucket and tapped on the back door window with his beak to let me know he wanted some sunflower seeds. That is cheeky!
Today, I was doing my dishes, looking out the kitchen window to watch the sunrise. I was privy to a young jay foraging under a tree to find a peanut that he had planted previously. And he found it! Blue jays love peanuts, and have a complex way of "mapping them out". What is more interesting than that is their instinctual memory to remember where they have planted them. I have watched this phenomenon on several occasions, and am always awed by their complex and brilliant behavior.
So, embrace your bluejays! Love them for who they are, and what they can teach us about backyard ornithology.
Thank you for sharing,Joanne. Jays are handsome, brash and fearful teasers. I have seen a Jay whistle at a dog, who was fooled again and again! How fortunate for those who enjoy them year round, that they don't migrate and entertain us throughout the winter.
In April they become quieter. The pairs are thinking of family matters now, and become quite secretive as they raise their 4 or 5 young, often only a few hundred yards from the house without your being aware of their presence. Happy Birding!